By Rev. Richard Evans
I want to introduce you to some friends of mine. Richard and Edythe Shaffer, members of the First UMC in Homosassa, Florida, have provided for their church in their will. Then about ten years ago, they each set up separate Charitable Gift Annuities, through the Florida United Methodist Foundation, which has been providing lifetime income to them and ulti- mately will provide a gift to their church Endowment Fund.
"We did this for several reasons," Richard said. "First, we wanted to give as much as we could to the Lord, and secondly, we wanted our money to work hard for us as well. Through our Charitable Gift Annuities, we have been able to accomplish both goals."
During their lifetimes, the Shaffers each will continue to receive regular income pay- ments from their respective annuities, in addition to the income tax deduction they received when the annuities were established. At the same time, they receive the satisfaction of know- ing their annuities also are gifts that will continue to give to the church beyond their lifetimes.
"As a member of the church Endowment Committee, I have seen what good things can happen when you remember the church in your will or through other types of planned gifts," Edythe said. "Giving to the church endowment allows us to give in perpetuity. So we are pleased that, through our Charitable Gift Annuities, we can provide for the church above and beyond our will."
The Shaffers funded their annuities with retirement benefits from former employers, Bell South and Eastern Airlines. For many years they enjoyed an active lifestyle since first re- tiring to Homosassa FL. Their lives were filled with church activities and with a little time for golf. Then several years ago, they moved to a retirement center where they are able to re- ceive some special care when their health declines.
You, too, may be able to increase your retirement income and help your church at the same time by creating a Charitable Gift Annuity or some other form of planned giving. Call the church office for more information or contact Gary Melville, Director of Planned Giving for the United Methodist Foundation of New England (800-595-4347x103 or firstname.lastname@example.org). And, have you remembered First UMC Gilford in your will?
When Cathy and Richard MacGovern got married, they realized they needed to update their wills. They worked with a lawyer who understood that creating or revising a will is the right time to think about planning your charitable legacy. During the discussion about their estate, they discovered they could make a gift to benefit their favorite charities and also pro- vide them some future income. A charitable gift annuity will offer them regular income during their retirement and is partially tax free for their expected lifetime. Their lawyer then asked Cathy and Richard which charities they might wish to honor. They quickly identified three min- istries: Trinity United Methodist Church in Springfield, MA, the Preachers' Aid Society, and the United Methodist Foundation of New England. Cathy and Richard strongly believe in the con- tinuing future of these three ministries that represent many of their favorite memories, spiri- tual journeys and professional careers.
With guidance from the United Methodist Foundation of New England, they created a gift annuity that ensures their charity choices receive support from their estate. Most impor- tantly, Cathy and Richard celebrate today knowing what they have already accomplished. "We are glad knowing this gift is in place. Now we can explore our options for setting up future
(Used with permission of the United Methodist Foundation of New England. The UMFNE is in partnership with more than 600 United Methodist Churches in New England and provides a wide variety of stewardship resources for churches and members. If you would like informa- tion on establishing a charitable gift annuity, or any other form of deferred charitable giving, call Gary Melville at 1-800-595-4347 ext.103. Or contact Dick Evans from our own Endowment Committee.)
by Gary Melville
For those living in New England the Market Basket story has been dominating the local news. And for those who live in proximity to the stores, life has been interrupted. For the workers, life is a mixture of uncertainty, loyalty, and anger. If ever there was case study in business succession planning gone bad, this is it.
Here are a few thoughts from a very former employee. In 1971 I was 14, got my work-ing papers, and began my working life at Demoulas Market in Chelmsford, MA. First jobs, like first dates, make an impression. I remember the requirement of a white shirt and a tie-and no jeans! Mike Demoulas was the owner at that time. He would visit, (inspect), the store from time-to time. Managers from the surrounding stores would call ahead to warn our store man-ager to get ready. I'm not sure if Mike served in the military, but he acted more like a general than a business man. The Demoulas Markets were different than other supermarkets. First, it was not union, second, much was expected of all employees, especially full-time personnel. A good friend of mine continued to work for Mike Demoulas after college. He died of cancer in his thirties, leaving a wife and two small children. Mike took care of his family during his treatment and after his death. From the stories told, his son Arthur T. continued his style of leadership, expecting much, and in turn going the extra mile for employees in need. Not all the stories have been good. For years we have read about law suits and Board fights. It is sad to see a family torn apart. We need to pray for a good outcome for the Demoulas family, the 25,000 employees, and for the thousands of customers relying on a store where they really can get "More for Your Dollar".
I'm not sure of what caused the discord within the Demoulas family. Much has been written, but there is always more to the story. The problem is, in many cases, after a parent dies and leaves more than ten dollars on the table without a will, there is a family fight. It is always less painful to learn from someone else's mistakes. The Demoulas family fight ought to remind us to review our own estate plan. One of the primary objectives in estate planning is peace within the family. We write a will, or create a trust, not for ourselves, but for those we love and leave behind when we die. A will provides a structured plan for our gifting to those we love and the organizations that we support.
Gary Melville is Director of Development
for the United Methodist Foundation of New
England. UMFNE is in partnership with more
than 600 United Methodist Churches in the
New England Conference and provides a wide
variety of stewardship resources for churches
and members. Visit the UMFNE website for
estate planning resources:
or call the Foundation 800-595-4347 ext. 103
to receive information on writing, or updating
The church is blessed with many acres of forested land. As stewards of this land, we have cut trees over the years to provide wood for our parsonage families. Trustees decided that they wish to take a further step in managing our land resources. After four years of plan- ning with a professional forester from New England Forestry Consultants, conducting a survey of our timber resources, and applying for cost sharing financing with a conservation agency NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Services) of the federal government, we are about to undertake a timber harvest.
Accessing the timber involved construction of an access road. The access road branches off the driveway that circles our church, just prior to the driveway up to the parson- age. During recent weeks an excavator operator has created this needed access road into the woods to be used by the trucks hauling the logs, and which terminates at a landing zone to which the trees will be brought after being cut. He has also established a trail system for the skidder operator to bring the cut trees to the landing zone. As of this writing our professional forester Peter Farrell's best estimate for the logger to begin harvesting the timber is the week of Sept. 15th taking into account such factors as the completion of his prior timber contracts, equipment maintenance, and the vagaries of weather.
Information has been disseminated over the many months via a public information ses- sion, the Administrative Council, the Sunday morning Bulletin and the monthly Traveler. We'll continue to keep you posted. Thank you.
by Rev. Richard Evans
I continue to be amazed at statistics that cite the large number of people who do not have a WILL. A survey last year from RocketLawyer.com, a legal services web site, found that 50% of Americans with children do not have a will. Even more alarming, 41% of baby boomers (age 55-64) don't have one. The top three reasons cited by survey respondents for not having a will: procrastination, a belief that they don't need one, and cost.
A national poll several years ago by Bankrate Inc. showed that 57% of Americans had made no such provision. Although three quarters of the respondents said that everyone needs a WILL, many simply don't follow through. Of those 50 years and older, 63% do have a WILL, although 90% of that age group said that they wanted to make their death as easy as possible on their families.
I suppose it is a human tendency to postpone or avoid things that seem sad and un- pleasant—like death. But the results of such procrastination can be huge. Without a valid WILL or TRUST, the state decides how assets get distributed, heirs may quarrel over property, and parents may not be able to determine who will care for their dependent children. Prepar- ing a WILL is one of the most important and considerate things you can do for your surviving family members—and for yourself.
Although some "do-it-yourselfers" decide to write their own, a simple WILL drafted by an attorney usually is worth the cost of several hundred dollars—both to avoid mistakes and to benefit from legal advice. For more complex estates, a Revocable Living TRUST may be a good alternative. The cost may be several thousand dollars but the result, usually, is to avoid probate. The combined costs of a WILL and probate often are similar to the cost of preparing a Revocable Living TRUST.
Once you have a WILL or TRUST, however, don't become too complacent. Those docu- ments should be reviewed periodically, and possibly revised, as your circumstances change. A good rule of thumb is to review them at least every 10 years and/or when you change your residence to a different state.
When you create or revise your WILL, why not name your church (and possibly some favorite charities) among the beneficiaries of your estate? That is a wonderful way to extend your Christian stewardship beyond your lifetime. If you
would like to discuss possibilities for specific designation of such a gift to our church, call Pastor Tom or me. And if your bequest to First United Methodist Church of Gilford is invested in the Endowment Fund, the annual earnings will keep on "giving" forever—in your memory. What a legacy! If you have named FUMCG in your WILL or TRUST, why not let Pastor Tom know. He doesn't need to know any details; only that you have done it. We'd like to thank you for your faith, your foresight, and your generosity in planning for a deferred gift to the church.
Yes, where there's a WILL, there's a way!